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Integrating injury research with industry experience to develop measures for preventing worker injuries from vehicles and equipment in highway work zones.

Fosbroke DE; Pratt SG; Burkhart JE; Marsh SM; Casini VJ; Moore PH; Smith GJ
NOIRS 2000--Abstracts of the National Occupational Injury Research Symposium 2000, Pittsburgh, PA, October 17-19, 2000. Pittsburgh, PA: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 2000 Oct; :66
Highway workers are exposed to injury from moving construction vehicles and equipment within the work zone and from motor vehicle traffic passing through the work zone. Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) data indicate that of the 600 work-related fatalities in the U.S. highway construction industry between 1992 and 1996, 328 (55%) were vehicle or equipment-related incidents that occurred in a work zone. Historically, prevention has been based on the premise that worker injuries are minimized when work zone traffic collisions are minimized. However, only half of the vehicle-related fatalities among highway workers involve a motorist. To better understand highway worker injury risks, NIOSH reviewed current highway safety literature, analyzed worker fatality data, investigated selected fatalities, and held a workshop with government, labor, industry, academia, and State transportation departments. Workshop participants were asked to discuss measures that would reduce or eliminate hazards to highway workers. By bringing together people with diverse interests in work zone safety, NIOSH hoped to improve our understanding of the hazards faced by highway workers, raise the industry's awareness of these hazards, and initiate discussion about hazard reduction measures. The resulting NIOSH document outlines specific measures that contractors, contracting agencies, policy makers, manufacturers, law enforcers, and researchers can take to reduce occupational injuries in highway work zones. Though the efficacy of this intervention has yet to be evaluated, the development process is a model of how to develop pragmatic recommendations by combining injury research with industry experience.
Construction industry; Construction workers; Construction equipment; Road construction; Accident rates; Accident statistics; Accidents; Accident prevention; Injuries; Traumatic injuries; Mortality data; Mortality rates; Mortality surveys; Statistical analysis; Epidemiology; Injury prevention; Surveillance programs
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NOIRS 2000 Abstracts of the National Occupational Injury Research Symposium 2000, Pittsburgh, PA., October 17-19, 2000
Page last reviewed: April 9, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division